The Living Room -A deep sea affair- (Please don’t drown)
It has been two years today
Since I have had a fight with my then girlfriend
And, crying bitterly, I entered the living room
Replied to my father’s concerns
And let him know his daughter was dating a girl.
No wonder he hasn’t spoken to me since.
But, this poem isn’t about me
And nor is it about a cousin sister of mine
Whose phone was found in the living room
Full with smuts and gay stories
And who was publicly disgraced by my father,
The smuts, gays and trans called
Disgusting, shameful “things”
Present in the society.
It is about something more.
It is about a song I wrote
About me and you and us
But it doesn’t really rhyme
Let’s talk instead
About the past.
Six years ago, the day before yesterday
Watching Titanic with the family in the living room
My father claimed that
Jack was what he called ‘girlish’
And that Hockley was more
Of a “manly-man”.
Three years ago yesterday
My elder brother stumbled into the living room drunk
Telling everyone he had something to say
And let the family know he was gay
Trying to stop him was futile, is the least I can say
I told him to rethink but he pushed me away
Telling me, him acting on my advises was final
As I shouted at him
“Not this way! Not when you’ve poured drinks in your skull!”
From his decision, he didn’t sway.
I haven’t seen him after that, up to this day.
It has been mere minutes today
Since we had a “family meeting”
That consisted of three hours of lectures
Half of it,
Pertaining to my younger brother’s emotional behavior
My father telling him to ‘man-up’
While the twelve-year-old stared
At the twirling fan on the living room ceiling,
Tears streaming down his face.
I enter my elder brother’s room
Only to find it empty,
The walls stripped bare
‘Cause my father burnt everything
The day he kicked him out of the house
Three years ago yesterday
After he had come out of the closet.
I shall wake up afresh
With a new energy and hope
Only to find blood
All over the washroom floor
And drops leading to the living room.
I will enter the living room
And my scream will shatter my parents’ eardrums
As they wake up surprised.
Tears will fill my eyes
As my parents rush downstairs
To find me standing in a pool of blood
Struggling to get my floating brother
Out of the loop that took his life.
My father will look
Into his twelve-year-old’s dead eyes,
He will look at the red roses
Blooming on his sliced wrist
And the rope marks on his neck.
He will find the note my brother wrote
Half covered in blood, apologizing, saying
“I’m sorry father, but I couldn’t ‘man-up’.
I couldn’t disappoint you, so I did the next best thing.”
My father will break.
He will cry over his twelve-year-old’s death
And say ‘sorry’
Over and over and over again
To the unresponsive blue and purple face
As my mother’s banshee screams echo.
My father will realize
‘Sorry’ doesn’t heal a broken part.
‘Sorry’ doesn’t revive a dead heart.
Now in your look, there is a chilling frost
As the seed of masculine toxicity in your mind rots
At what cost?